- Alternate Character Interpretation: On one hand, Mutsumi only saw Kae as a good friend before she lost weight, and has mostly been shown to feel no romantic attraction towards Kae until she became thin. On the other hand, since he had no idea what romantic attraction felt like until the others —sans Kae— told him to figure it out, it can be guessed that he did love Kae before she became thin and may have thought it was strong admiration that he felt towards her. Sort of confirmed in chapter 45, where it's shown that he developed feelings for her before she got thin, but wasn't aware of them due to inexperience.
- Base-Breaking Character:
- Kae. Opinions differ whether she's just a normal girl whose fantasies make her Oblivious to Love, or a half-assed character inserted in the series to impend it becomes full-fledged yaoi. And there are some who like her but but dislike the boys due to the implication that they're only attracted to her now that's she's thin and pretty. Her treatment of Mutsumi in her relationship with him during chapters 46 and 47 only break the base around her further.
- Yashiro, after Chapter 49. Seeing that he's trying to come between Kae and Mutsumi because of his own feelings for the latter, and because he's intentionally trying to cut Kae off from Mutsumi, Yashiro comes off as kind of a prick and an unnecessary addition of drama where just Kae and Mutsumi's base problems would have sufficed. But he was right on calling her out for ignoring her own boyfriend, and his Secret Test of Character did hold some water.
- Mutsumi as well, for that matter. Where some see a kind, patient love interest who they feel had the most complete picture of Kae before falling for her, others saw a bland Extreme Doormat who barely did anything to win Kae over, and who they argued broke the Aesop of the seriesnote .
- Broken Base:
- In the West, some of the viewer base find it a different and refreshing reverse harem series, usually comparing the feel to shows like Ouran High School Host Club. Others feel that it's little more than a regular shoujo with a couple of Otaku flavorings, and don't care for the plot or the characters.
- Oh boy, Kae's weight loss. While some people are angry about it and consider it to be very unrealistic even by the standards of this show, others try to tell them that it's not all that important and mostly there for the sake of comedy.
- Should the boys have liked her from the start, or is the premise fine the way it is? One camp argues that the Unfortunate Implications of the story would be done away with and the harem dynamic would be more interesting, while others argue that if they had, it'd be unrealistic for them to pursue her while she was still overweight which makes her no better than a regular harem protagonistnote , and in-canon the problem pretty much sorts itself out once they realize that they do like her even with her flaws... like most harem protagonists. Not to mention that two of them were already on decent terms with her before her weight loss.
- Fan-Preferred Couple:
- A lot of people think Kae should end up with Mutsumi, because he was the only one of the boys who was consistently kind to her when she was fat, seemed to like her even then, is the only one who recognizes her after her weight loss and doesn't think her otaku hobbies are freaky. After the events of the kidnapping arc, their fans can rest easy— Kae kisses him while he's comatose, and confesses to him later. He accepts and they start dating.
- On the other end of the spectrum, many fans in the West would prefer that she ends up with Nishina instead, due to their chemistry and the delicious irony of two Yaoi Fangirls entering a lesbian relationship. It probably helps that just like Mutsumi she liked Kae before her weight loss.
- And then you have the fujoshi group. A lot of people are hoping Mutsumi and Shinomiya end up together, due to them having a lot of moments together. Meanwhile, Igarashi and Nanashima are childhood friends, which gives them a lot of room for headcanons and fanfiction. Shinomiya and Nanashima became more accepted over time, as well. It helps that the latter pairing is living together by the finale.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Yashiro forces Kae to pick between her relationship with her boyfriend, or her obsession with Mirage Saga and Shion. By the finale she gets to have it both ways; she marries Mutsumi, but she names her child after Shion and has him on her high school photo.
- Like You Would Really Do It: Kae choosing Mutsumi is feared to be temporary by quite a few fans, saying that because she chose a love interest 40 chapters in, and because the boy she chose wasn't the series' posterboy, the story's setting itself up for a breakup and revisiting of Kae's feelings. Luckily, despite all that, the narrative stuck with it.
- Memetic Mutation: "Mom, the mirror's broken!" note
- Periphery Demographic: Despite being a shoujo series and published in a shoujo magazine, the author still manages to slip yaoi fanservice here and there, making the series equally entertaining for the fujoshi fanbase.
- Ship-to-Ship Combat: It's Team Igarashi versus Team Mutsumi for the most part, with some different ships floating around here and there.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Some people think Kae should have stayed chubby as it would have made for a more interesting dynamic, as well as a lack of Big Beautiful Woman support in manga.
- Ugly Cute: Even though it's supposed to be undesirable, Kae's fat form does spark a certain charm in people.
- Unfortunate Implications:
- The fact that three of the boys only fall in love with Serinuma when she has become thin rubs a lot of people the wrong way, as it implies that heavy women can't be attractive unless they lose weight and/or that men are naturally shallow. See here, here and here.
- The dub's ADR director and scriptwriter Tia Ballard admitted that episode 5 was difficult to adapt due to this, noting that body shaming is never okay.
YMMV / Kiss Him, Not Me